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Rotenberg Center. Torturing the disabled and calling it "therapy"

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posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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Teen tied and shocked for hours; mom calls it "torture"

(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Video of a disabled teen tied down and given painful electric shocks for seven hours should be made public, the youth's mother said, so everyone can see what she describes as the "torture" her son went through at the controversial school, the only one in Massachusetts that uses pain to treat its clients.

"This is worse than a nightmare," Cheryl McCollins said about her disabled son, Andre. "It is horrific. And poor Andre, who had to suffer through this, and not know why."

The ordeal began after Andre hit a staff member. Inside a classroom, as a camera was recording, he was tied to a restraint board, face down, a helmet over his head.

He stayed like that for seven hours without a break, no food, no water, or trips to the bathroom. Each time he screamed or tensed up, he was shocked, 31 times in all. His mother called the next day to check on him.

"I said, 'Andre.' I said, 'Hello.' And so he said, 'Help me,'" McCollins said.

After spending three days in a comatose state, not eating or drinking, Andre was taken to Children's Hospital, where he was diagnosed with "acute stress response" caused by the shocks.


"The doctors took all the shackles and all those things off of him. Andre's not talking to me. I'm just holding him and telling him how much I love him, and asking him please to talk to me, just tell me what happened," McCollins said.

Read more: www.myfoxboston.com...


It is not the first time this school has been investigated for abuse. In any other situation this would be called torchure.. but for some reason this school has been given a free pass to inflict trauma on children with disabilities because they are of the theory that inflicting pain can make someone's behaviour improve. The closest thing I can compare this to is whipping slaves to break their wills.. it perplexes me that people can think basic human rights can be ignored because of someone's crede. The people iresponsible do not seem to have any moral confliction with this at all. I have my own ideas of "bahaviour management" for sociopaths but I don't think the people who work at the center think they need any help.

Previously this school had been investigated by the United Nations:

The treatment works by hooking the students up to electrodes worn on different parts of the body, which communicate with a small device carried around in a backpack or fanny pack. When the student engages in forbidden behavior, a staff member administers a shock. Some students wear the electrodes as much as 24-hours a day, seven days a week. And sometimes for years.
abcnews.go.com...


I really do not understand why this place has not been shut down.

edit on 25-2-2012 by riley because: spelt torturing properly :




posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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I'm shocked this still happens in modern America. I thought the Shock Therapy insanity when out in the 60's and into the 70's. I didn't realize they were still strapping people down to shock them into a stupor in the name of behavioral modification.

Geeze.... it's the Dark Ages out there in some places. What's next? A Lobotomy if the kid does something worse??



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Exactly. With such a rich history in civil rights issues the government has really dropped the ball not shutting the place down asap.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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This school has been known for this for decades. i don't know why it hasn't been shut down. And why criminal charges have not been brought.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:15 PM
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I worked with special needs in Mass. and from what I heard, all those facilities like that were closed down years ago. The majority of special schools and such for these people have time-out rooms with magnetic locks. Sometimes they need to be restrained in a classroom and escorted into those quiet rooms, but that's where it ends for "the staff". Next step is usually a medication addition or change. Make them mental zombies so they are easy to manage.

I don't see how shock therapy is still being used, but if it is, the Boston area would be the place.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'm shocked this still happens in modern America. I thought the Shock Therapy insanity when out in the 60's and into the 70's.


I think you'd be surprised.

One state which does report such data is Texas, where in the mid-1990s ECT was used in about one third of psychiatric facilities and given to about 1,650 people annually.[33] Usage of ECT has since declined slightly; in 2000–01 ECT was given to about 1,500 people aged from 16 to 97 (in Texas it is illegal to give ECT to anyone under sixteen).[101] ECT is more commonly used in private psychiatric hospitals than in public hospitals, and minority patients are underrepresented in the ECT statistics.[1] In the United States, ECT is usually given three times a week; in the UK, it is usually given twice a week.[1] Occasionally it is given on a daily basis.[1] A course usually consists of 6–12 treatments, but may be more or fewer. Following a course of ECT some patients may be given continuation or maintenance ECT with further treatments at weekly, fortnightly or monthly intervals.[1] A few psychiatrists in the USA use multiple-monitored ECT (MMECT) where patients receive more than one treatment per anesthetic.



In the United Kingdom in 1980, an estimated 50,000 people received ECT annually, with use declining steadily since then[103][104] to about 12,000 per annum. It is still used in nearly all psychiatric hospitals, with a survey of ECT use from 2002 finding that 71 percent of patients were women and 46 percent were over 65 years of age. Eighty-one percent had a diagnosis of mood disorder; schizophrenia was the next most common diagnosis. Sixteen percent were treated without their consent.

Source

On a personal note, my Dad was ECT'd back in the 60's. For severe depression and he freely "volunteered". It did cure the depression, at least I never saw him depressed as a child (but it was done before my birth) but never saw him with a good memory either. He would always confuse events and people, usually me and my older brother for each other.... weird stuff that ECT.
edit on 25/2/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: Typo



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:35 PM
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It is not "traditional" shock therapy where it's meant to kick start the brain. In severe cases of depression I have heard of electroshock therapy still being used under a general anesthetic. Typically it's used as a last resort and very rarely and not while they're concious.

The kind of "therapy" being used here is however is purely designed to inflict pain.
edit on 25-2-2012 by riley because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


Absolutely horrible. There is no excuse for this, as this IS electrical torture. Heck, even electroshock therapy is more humane then this! I'm really flabbergasted that something like this is going on today.

Star and flag for you OP.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:49 PM
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I'm giving you a S&F simply on how you spell "torture" in your title.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by riley
 

Oops! Sorry for the confusion. Electro shock always makes me think of ECT. Sorry.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by schadenfreude
I'm giving you a S&F simply on how you spell "torture" in your title.

I humbly accept both correction and your s&f. I swear I looked at it no less than five times before I saw it.. now I'm saying "tawtering" to myself..



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


How horrendous! And to think how far we've come in medicine to have imbiciles such as these using such tactics and calling it therapy. I guess if he lashes out again, their next step is a full frontal lobotomy. That'll fix what's broken.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by riley
 

Oops! Sorry for the confusion. Electro shock always makes me think of ECT. Sorry.

Actually I think they have associated them together intentionally to try give the practice credibilty. What the school was doing with the backpacks was similar to using a cattle prod or a shock collar; There is nothing medical about it but in the public's mind they would immediately think of ECT.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


This is just really sad/sick. Maybe if they got a taste of their own medecin might it change their behaviour.

My heart goes out to that kid
Peace and much Love



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:19 PM
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One thing I'd like to stress on this thread is the increasing approval for prison privatization. I've brought this topic up on ATS several times by creating different threads on the matter, but none ever garner any attention.

If prisons and juvenile facilities are privatized, I'm afraid that they're going to be using the same tactics that we're reading about in this thread.

So, please keep your eyes and ears open when your state discusses this topic. It needs much more attention than it's getting and it's going to lead to many abuses and experiments that will be covered up and ignored the same way they are at this school.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


I made an account just to comment on this, and will probably slink back into the shadows of lurkerdom when I've had my say. (Took me forever to figure out a user-name, and I misspelled it! It does look different on this side though.)



"It is not "traditional" shock therapy where it's meant to kick start the brain"


I'm glad you highlighted that, because traditional shock treatment is done while the patient is sedated, and there is no pain involved in the procedure. Afterwards it's common for people to be sleepy, kinda loopy, have a nasty headache and perhaps some nausea. However, all the people I've worked with that received THIS FORM (and ONLY this form) of ECT claimed the side-effects were worth the alleviation of their depression and certain aspects of schizophrenia (made the voices quieter, less aggressive.). It's not the devil-treatment people make it out to be, at least not nowadays.

But this. Shock treatment done while conscious with pain as the intended result?! I don't understand how this is legal. When I went through my training with DD (developmentally disabled) adults, albeit in a different state, the stack of laws and regulations was as high as my knee. The stuff for minors was even more complex.

You can only restrain people in certain circumstances after certain things have happened, and not for seven hours straight!! In the name of anonymity, I can't go into much detail, but when things got bad (which they rarely did), we were told to just get out of the way, remove anything that the client could hurt themselves or others with, and try intermittently to redirect them when an opportunity permitted itself.

Of course this was in a home setting, not a school, but I know those places have special rooms that they can remove disruptive pupils to. Shouldn't be a pain room, just a quiet, soft place.


I don't understand using pain an a deterrent. Oh, I'm sure it works, and probably faster than redirection techniques. But that doesn't make it ethical. The people delivering the shocks must have lost all their empathy. Or maybe repetition makes it easier. Or perhaps they really think they're doing the right thing, since the order came from the boss. I don't know.

Now, there were lots of things I disagreed with during my stint in group homes. Like somebody pointed out earlier, instead of trying to help clients work through issues and come to a place in their life where things are tolerable, they just drug everybody up within an inch of their brains. Some people need 'em, some don't. It's not as individualized as doctors make it out to be. Frankly, a lot of the people caught in the system don't have family members or strong advocates, and fall by the wayside. It's enough for society that they have a roof over their head and a full stomach, right? (That last sentence was sarcasm, btw.)

This reminds me of "Christmas in Purgatory". I thought those days were over.
Sorry for the rant, I'm done!
edit on 25-2-2012 by Dontshootthemessanger because: Switched "ECT" for "Shock treatment", they aren't quite the same thing, silly me!



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by riley
 

Yeah, the penny did drop here after you corrected me, thanks.
More a telephone wire attached to various body parts and nasty charges being sent through them rather than a "medical treatment". I'm not sure I even agree with cattle-prods being used on cattle but I'm just a tree-hugging, unicorn-stroking libertarian, or something like that.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:31 PM
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This is nothing new. Charges are brought up against nursing homes all the time for the torture and abuse of patients.

Same with mental facilities.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by Dontshootthemessanger
 

Welcome to ATS! (Psst! Do be sure to make an Intro post in the Intro forum. You could try asking a Mod to step in and correct the username too, hint hint) Thanks for bringing some professional and personal knowledge to the table.

Having read the OP a little more carefully I'm actually quite surprised he's not dead. Only a few days ago there was a story of a little girl who was forced to run for 3 hours for having taken a piece of candy or some ridiculously small thing. She died of dehydration and exhaustion I think it was. Most sad.

I think I agreed with just about every word you said and it was a great rant.
I would imagine pain gives more immediate results but also many unwanted side-effects too, certainly on people with severe conditions.



posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by riley
 


This reminds me of an article I was reading about past human experimentation in the US and unfortunately, some of it was quite recently even. The sad thing was a LOT involved children, people and children of mental defect, and people of color. According to the Nuremberg trial doctors, they said they got some of their ideas from us. Shameful what we do to each other. Like a cat playing with it's food.

Here's the article I read. It's quite long so be prepared. I highly recommend the links. I've been reading since early yesterday. Some I knew about, but some shocked me that it was so recent.

Human Experimentation
edit on 25-2-2012 by happyhomemaker29 because: added link to article.



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